Payback 2020

Payback 2020
Date: August 30, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton, Michael Cole, Corey Graves

We’re back on pay per view less than a week after the last one ended, because that’s a thing that needed to happen. This time around we have the big main event of the Fiend defending the Smackdown World Title against Braun Strowman and a surprisingly heel Roman Reigns, with Paul Heyman in his corner. That sounds like it could have some serious legs so let’s get to it.

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The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Madison Square Garden 06.03.91

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Madison Square Garden 06.03.91

Save 20% on Fight Island Gear!

Here’s a show I’ve been wanting to get done for a while, and today is as good a day as any, featuring Hulk Hogan against Sgt. Slaughter in the somewhat famous Desert Storm rematch from Wrestlemania.

Taped from MSG

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan & Jim Neidhart

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Madison Square Garden 06.03.91

Extreme Rules 2020

Extreme Rules 2020
Date: July 19, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Samoa Joe, Corey Graves, Michael Cole

We have finally arrived at this one and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The show is dubbed The Horror Show at Extreme Rules because we have reached the point where a show involving taking someone’s eye out and a Swamp Fight requires a subtitle. There are no expectations coming in so hopefully they can exceed. Let’s get to it.

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No Way Out 2006

No Way Out 2006
Date: February 19, 2006
Location: 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 11,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

For the first time in a long time, we have a pay per view that has my interest. Smackdown has gotten a lot better in a hurry, but they need the big spectacular to make it work. With Wrestlemania coming up, this could be a great way to get the momentum going, and hopefully that’s what happens here. I’m sure Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton and Booker T. vs. Chris Benoit can help with that. Let’s get to it.

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The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – MSG 03.17.75

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – MSG 03.17.75

Yeah, so after the surprisingly well-received Big Time Wrestling rant (which still flopped, but people seemed to like it at least!) one of the topics was Spiros Arion, and people pointed out that there’s a couple of MSG shows on the Network featuring him!  And hey, I was intrigued enough by his brief appearance on the Detroit show to give this one a look and see him challenging Bruno Sammartino!

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The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Philadelphia Spectrum 08.27.88

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Philadelphia Spectrum 08.27.88

Off to Philly this time for another hour of old school house show goodness in the thick of Randy Savage’s first title reign, right before Summerslam 88.  Don’t worry, I’m running out of the hour-long versions on the Network to review.

Taped from Philly, PA.

Your hosts are Dick Graham, Superstar Graham & Lord Alfred Hayes.  Good lord.

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The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Boston Garden 12.07.85

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Boston Garden 12.07.85

Didn’t wanna watch that NWA Carnyland thing and AEW Dark was literally NINETY MINUTES of squash matches.  So instead, I’m just scrolling through the Network looking for stuff I haven’t reviewed before.  And this is as good as anything!

https://watch.wwe.com/episode/Boston-Garden-Dec-7-1985-94367

Taped from Boston, MA

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Boston Garden 12.07.85

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – The War to Settle the Score! (02.18.85)

The SmarK Rant for The War To Settle the Score – 02.18.85

So yeah, I’ve been wanting to do this one for a while, hoping that it would return to the WWE Network after being mysteriously removed a week into being posted.  And then it never was.  However, someone was paranoid enough to rescue the show before it got pulled, and sent it to me just before it disappeared.  Normally my policy is to only review stuff that’s available for everyone, but I just wanted to FINALLY give this one a look for you and these are weird times anyway.

As for this show, it’s a sequel to The Brawl to End It All and kind of a proto-Wrestlemania, taking place a month before the real deal.  Originally it was cut down to 30 minutes and aired live on MTV, but this is the full 2:20 show.

Taped from Madison Square Garden

Your hosts are Mean Gene & Gorilla Monsoon

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – The War to Settle the Score! (02.18.85)

The SmarK Rant for “A Future WWE: The FCW Story”

The SmarK Rant for A Future WWE: The FCW Story

Hi from the past!  I’m putting a few shows “in the can” for later posting when I need content, and this is one of them.  So if you’re reading this after the coronavirus has wiped out the human race, hopefully it won’t affect my ad revenue too badly.  I am enjoying reviewing these documentary shows, I will say, because it’s much less stressful than trying to type up match recaps as they happen and editing in jokes on the fly.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for “A Future WWE: The FCW Story”

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – AWA/NWA Nite of Champions II 12.29.85

The SmarK Rant for NWA/AWA Nite of Champions II – 12.29.85

I actually keep finding random stuff on the Hidden Gems section of the Network that I’ve never watched before and I just go “WTF? Where did this come from?” This is another one of those things.

Taped from the Meadowlands in New Jersey, apparently drawing 12,000 people.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – AWA/NWA Nite of Champions II 12.29.85

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – NWA Boogie Jam 84

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – NWA Boogie Jam 84 (03.17.84)

I totally forgot that this one got added as a Hidden Gem show a while back, mostly because the interface is such dogshit now that I can barely find anything unless I know exactly where I’m supposed to be looking.  And since Clash VI is apparently hacked to pieces on the Network anyway, we’ll go with this one as our second version of the Flair v. Steamboat celebration this weekend.

https://watch.wwe.com/program/Boogie-Jam-1984-103634

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – NWA Boogie Jam 84